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Frugal Fashion: Carey Mulligan gets festive in red

December 8, 2010 | 10:01 am

Lcyyinnc The name Carey Mulligan is synonymous with the terms chic, alternative and all-around fashion it-girl. Wherever the petite, pixie-haired actress goes, she is sure to be dressed in stunning designer frocks that are far from ordinary. With the sparkling, cosmic Chanel sequin dress and jeweled cape at the Vogue Fashion Fund Awards and the countless gowns and dresses she’s worn while promoting the film “Never Let Me Go,” Mulligan shows it’s a good thing to break away from the classics. 

Mulligan's style choices exemplify a fearless free spirit, one that has the fashion world taking notice. Not only is she a regular on best-dressed lists for numerous fashion magazines and websites, but she also earned a spot on Vogue's coveted 10 Best Dressed list of 2010.

At the Moet British Independent Film Awards, Mulligan owned the red carpet in a Prabal Gurung poppy-colored dress with a large flower detail on her chest and a cinched waist. She paired the stunning red dress with a sparkly sequined Roger Vivier clutch and black peep-toe heels. The actress officially took home the award for best actress for her role in "Never Let Me Go," but she gets our award for best dressed of the night. The color of her dress and the chest detail speak for themselves, and the sparkly clutch is the perfect, delicate finishing touch.


A tasteful red dress is a way to stand out -- in a good way -- at those upcoming holiday parties. Here are a few rouge-colored frocks for less than $100 that will have you relishing the holiday spirit:
T Tahari red dress from Nordstrom for $99.50, one-shoulder red French Connection dress from for $89.59, Sparkle and Fade chiffon dress from Urban Outfitters for $69 and the Winter Rose strapless dress from Ann Taylor for $99.99. 



For just a touch of sparkle, pair one of these clutches with a holiday party outfit or evening wear: Lulu Townsend sequined clutch from DSW for $36.95, Kate Landry "peacock" clutch from Dillards for $35 or the Sequin slouchy bag from Express for $39.90. Since the sparkly clutch is the essential party accessory, you'll need to find the perfect one for you, so check out more frugal finds from resident stylist Melissa Magsaysay.

Now that you're set with a new red dress and sparkly clutch, all you'll need is a pair of super simple heels to finish the look. A pair of solid-colored black heels from your own closet should do.

Happy shopping.

Have an outfit you're dying to buy but need a frugal alternative? E-mail us a picture. We're up for the challenge.

-- Jenn Harris

Photos, from top: Actress Carey Mulligan attends the Moet British Independent Film Awards at Old Billingsgate Market in London. Credit: Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images. Tahari dress from Nordstrom. French Connection dress from Sparkle and Fade dress from Urban Outfitters. Winter Rose dress from Ann Taylor. Lulu Townsend clutch from DSW. Kate Landry clutch from Dillards. Sequin bag from Express.